I remember the first time my husband brought up the question of missions. It was even before we started dating. I knew the question was going to come up, and I had been thinking about it.
Looking back, I think it was a very smart move on his part, and I am grateful for his discernment. I personally think that for any dating couple this is a conversation that should take place early on in their relationship. It is important to have similar goals or mindsets.
That being said, in answer to the question, “Does the wife need to be called to missions?” my answer would be no, not necessarily. However, there must be an attitude of willingness and complete surrender to God’s will.
Let me explain. At the age of 14, I surrendered my life to God with the intentions of serving God with my life. At the time, I thought that would look like teaching in a Christian school somewhere for the rest of my life. God obviously had different plans.
During my senior year of college, God began to do a work in my heart and gradually began changing my heart about missions. I had never been opposed to missions – I just never thought that it was in my future. However, God used my student-teaching experience and a trip abroad to really give me a desire for foreign missions.
I remember a particular conversation I had with my Dad before I was married when I was struggling with thoughts of the future. He told me that Matthew and I were on separate paths, but that if God wanted us together he would allow our paths to intertwine and become one.
God did just that. So on December 30, 2016, when I pledged myself to Matthew in marriage, I accepted the call to missions that God had given to Matthew. I was promising to share in the vision that God had given Matthew.
So yes, then I was “called” to missions through my marriage.
For me, my journey has been one of surrender and giving up what I thought my future should look like. It’s been putting into practice Romans 12:1 and offering my life as a living sacrifice to God. It’s been a journey of asking God to make known his ways as David phrases it in Psalm 25:4-5.
I realize my experience is just MY experience. It is different from yours. You may be single, or contemplating a relationship that may take you to the mission field, or maybe you are already married and God has given your husband a burden for foreign missions.
Whatever the case, missions is a matter of surrender. It’s surrendering your plans, your hopes, and your dreams. But the amazing thing is that God can change those desires and give us new desires (Psalm 37:4).
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The CGO Blog
Written by the CGO staff, with guest posts from students and other faculty/staff at BJU to provide thought leadership for missions in a new millennium.